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Ulster Make Three Changes For Derby Match

Ulster Make Three Changes For Derby Match

Jared Payne will return from suspension as one of three changes to Ulster’s starting line-up for the visit of provincial rivals Leinster to Ravenhill on Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).

Mark Anscombe has named Jared Payne at outside centre for the sold-out clash against the league leaders, which will also act as the official opening of the newly redeveloped Ravenhill.

Other changes to the Ulster team from the loss to Glasgow Warriors two weeks ago include Andrew Warwick’s selection at tighthead prop and Roger Wilson returns from injury in the back row.

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Ireland caps Paul Marshall, Paddy Jackson and Luke Marshall will play inside Payne, with Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble and Ricky Andrew continuing in the back-three.

Warwick will be joined in the front row by hooker Rob Herring and Tom Court, who will play possibly his last match for Ulster at Ravenhill.

Retiring captain Johann Muller, who will find himself in a similar situation to Court on Friday night, is again joined in the engine room by Iain Henderson.

Wilson’s inclusion at blindside flanker means Chris Henry will switch to the other side of the scrum, while Nick Williams will remain at the base.

International second row Dan Tuohy returns from injury to be named among the replacements. Niall Annett, Callum Black and Adam Macklin provide front row support on the bench, with Sean Doyle covering the back row.

Michael Heaney, James McKinney and Darren Cave are the reserve backs at head coach Anscombe’s disposal.

Muller, who is likely to make his final Ravenhill appearance on Friday after announcing his intentions to retire at the end of the season, was keen to thank the people of Ulster for helping to make his time in the province so memorable.

“It is no secret that the last four years are possibly the best of my rugby career. I have just enjoyed it so much,” he said.

“My family has been so happy in Belfast and the people of Northern Ireland have been absolutely outstanding to my family and I. We have loved it here.”

The interprovincial derby fixture, along with the opening ceremony of the redeveloped stadium, will be live on BBC 2 Northern Ireland and RTÉ Two from 7pm.

ULSTER (v Leinster): Ricky Andrew; Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Luke Marshall, Tommy Bowe; Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall; Tom Court, Rob Herring, Andrew Warwick, Johann Muller (capt), Iain Henderson, Roger Wilson, Chris Henry, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Niall Annett, Callum Black, Adam Macklin, Dan Tuohy, Sean Doyle, Michael Heaney, James McKinney, Darren Cave.